In a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Southern Co. chairman, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning emphasized the need for a cohesive national energy policy.
"Energy drives economic development, job creation and personal income growth," said Fanning. "In order to restore America's financial integrity, we need a sound, sensible national energy policy that puts the full portfolio of energy resources to work for American families and businesses."
Since 1970, 78 percent of the growth in energy consumption has been driven by the electrification of the U.S. economy. In addressing the challenges facing the energy industry, Fanning stressed the importance of pursuing a diverse generation portfolio that includes new nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency while maintaining a commitment to energy innovation.
Guided by its customer-focused business model, Southern Co. is building toward America's energy future in a $20 billion effort that is helping the nation achieve energy independence, he said.
"In a still-fragile global economy, America cannot afford to passively accept the 'new normal,'" he said. "To achieve North American energy security, we need to play offense and defense by finding real, meaningful solutions to our energy challenges. Today's electric system was built by American ingenuity, and our continued commitment to energy innovation will help us prepare for tomorrow."
With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 MW of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Co. is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Co. owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications.